I have recently been reading is some of the forums and they talk about the fact that Ambergris Caye beaches have a lot of sea grass or turtle grass. Can the home owners pulled up or remove the sea grass in the water on their property? I was just wondering if there is any restrictions on pulling up the grass to clean up the beach for swimming or snorkeling if you own the property. Do some of the resorts do this to make for better swimming at the resort?
Another question, if you buy a beach front property on Ambergris Caye, does you property normally include down to the waterline or a certain distance from the waterline? In other words, is the beach in front of a home owners house considered private beach or is all the beach open to the public?
If you pulled up the Sea Grass you wouldn't have any beach after the first decent storm and if you tried to make it private you would be tarred and feathered. All beaches are public and you need a permit (or damn good connections) to remove Sea Grass.
Even though InPlub made light of it, access and use of the beach is public right of way under the Queens Law...as to removing turtle grass Simon's point is a valid one. We've lost much of the natural coastal protection with the removal of much of the mangroves to give an unobstructed view of the sea. The grass is part of the natural anchor for your beachfront. It also provides water filtration, helps settle the murk following a blow as well as habitat and food to the many marine life forms indigenous to AC.... but I suppose if one wants to own less property...
It's good to ask questions and understand the nature of the ecology, laws, and culture of Ambergris Caye if you want to live here. If you have several options of where you want to settle in the Caribbean and want to rule out some before visiting, continue to pursue this. You will find though, if you want to move here, most will suggest to you, come down for a while and find out in person. Even then come and live a while different times a year in a rental. Too many people have moved to the Isla and then tried to change the things they didn't like. This mentality usually doesn't work for the newcomer, or Ambergris.
By the way, check your PMs. I remember your post regarding beach front condos. If you own a condo, you don't own the land. Check on types of titles too.
If you own a condo you own the unit individually, and the land in common with the other unit owners. Your title will show the unit number and refer to a plan of survey, which will designate a unit number and a parcel number (land on which unit sits) as well as the registered strata plan. You DO have an ownership stake in the land that is designated in the strata plan. There is only one kind of title for a condo - Strata. If you don't have Strata, it's not a condo. There are other commonly owned properties that people refer to as condos (inaccurately) - stock co-ops being the most common variant on the theme.
OMOTR, To expand and reiterate the points Diane made about strata and share ownership, a Strata development allows the buyer to take title of the physical structure that comprises the condo, share ownership of the commons and be a part of any home owners association. The latter probably being a requirement of ownership.
In the case of the stock co-op she mentions, which represents our ownership, we purchased a share which entitles us to exclusive use and occupancy within the confines of the Articles of Corporation for our registered Belizean corporation. Although we commonly refer to our share held "unit" as a condo, I'll defer to her knowledge of a the proper legal description of such. Also contrary to the case of the strata condo we don't share ownership of the grounds but are afforded their use under the same Articles.
To the point of this thread; any issues relating to beach or shore are determined by the Directors of the Corporation and ratified by our share holders. However our corporate by-laws require that all private share holder and corporate activities must comply with Belizean law. This means that if its contrary to formal Belizean policy or laws governing beach access or natural resources we may not conduct that activity even if the majority of share holders were to propose/desire something along those lines.
Obviously having a board with a sense of propriety and ethics is desirable. As a Director one wants to avoid such misguided intentions so as to avoid legal entanglements that would adversely affect not only the corporation but the share holders as well.